Sujan Dutta from New Delhi in The Telegraph:
I learnt at the barricades today that the personal is the political. So I am culpable. Culpable of the gang rape and murder of a co-citizen.
I am culpable because I am a man. Because I have encouraged lewd jokes, sexist jibes and dirty talk about women.
I am culpable because I don’t dare to stop the flurry of bad language around me every day, in almost every gathering, that have to do with genitalia, of wanting to do this to someone’s mother or someone’s sister, knowing fully well that it is not for the motherhood or the sisterhood but in the full knowledge that whoever she is, she must be a woman.
So I will say today from the police barricades of New Delhi and from among the tens of hundreds who walked on, sat on and slept on the roads and sidewalks of Jantar Mantar, that I am culpable of nurturing the environment and climate in which such torment can be inflicted on a girl.
I am culpable because as a student in Calcutta’s Jadavpur University, I once cracked a lewd joke on an eccentric teacher who was so deeply engaged in scholarship that she did not care what she wore and how she looked.
I am culpable because I have shouted at my mother during quarrels, more than once: “Why are Bengali women so difficult?”
I am culpable because I have girlfriends who have taken abuse in male company that I could not strike out against not only because I was scared but also because I thought it was the done thing to meld into the environment. More:
In memory of the unknown citizen: Shuddhabrata Sengupta in The Hindu:
We may never know her name. But not every memory needs a name or a pile of stone. Her memorial need not claim space on a city street, or square, or on the river-front. Let the well-known Leader and the Unknown Soldier have their real estate, but for the Unknown Citizen, let us not fire gun salutes, fly flags at half-mast or build portals and pedestals. And let us not for even a moment imagine that instituting police measures against the people the Prime Minister calls ‘foot-loose migrants’ will mean anything remotely resembling justice.
We can think about what the contours of enduring justice can be without being hangmen. Only safe cities, safe towns and safe villages, and freedom for all men and women will mean justice. Justice does not come from the gallows. It springs from a freedom from fear, and the gallows only perpetuate fear. Hangmen will turn the bullies who rape into the cowards who will automatically murder so that there may not be a trace of their rape. It will make fathers who rape their daughters into fathers who rape and murder their daughters. Capital punishment will lead to less, not more convictions for rape and heinous sexual violence. That can never lead us to justice. More:
No turning back now: The Hindu carried a front page editorial:
If anything, the past week has shown how so many of the framers and implementers of the law in India are themselves complicit in the very culture of patriarchy that produces, sanctions and makes excuses for violence against women. Their complicity lies not just in the foul statements we have heard but in the silences and compromises of senior politicians and officials who have presided over the multiple organ failure of the Indian state, a failure which denies security and justice to women across the country.
For anonymous: Nilanjana Roy on her blog:
I did not know the name of the girl in the bus, through these last few days. She had a name of her own–it was not Amanat, Damini or Nirbhaya, names the media gratuitously gave her, as though after the rape, she had been issued a new identity. I don’t need to know her name now, especially if her family doesn’t want to share their lives and their grief with us. I think of all the other anonymous women whose stories don’t make it to the front pages, when I think of this woman; I think of the courage that is forced on them, the way their lives are warped in a different direction from the one they had meant to take. Don’t tell me her name; I don’t need to know it, to cry for her.
Dear Abhijit babu: The Society of Painted and Dented Ladies responds: Rajyasree Sen in Firstpost:
I am writing to you in my capacity of General Secretary of the Society of Painted and Dented Ladies of India. First of all, I would like to state that I was most touched that you have noticed our presence in your midst. For long, we the Painted and Dented Ladies have suffered on the fringes of society, waiting to be recognised – especially by the likes of political luminaries such as you. This honour from a sitting MP, has given me inestimable joy. Not to forget that you are our venerable president, Pranab Mukherjee’s very own son. I stand up in respect, sir.